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Hardball With Chris Matthews

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Obama 8, Us 8, Michigan 7, Romney 5, America 5, Mcconnell 4, China 4, Washington 3, Indiana 3, Jake 3, United States 3, Chrysler 3, Mike Huckabee 3, U.s. 3, Kennedy 2, Rick Santorum 2, Benghazi 2, Kentucky 2, Ziggy 2, Newt 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2012)  (CC)  

    December 12, 2012
    11:00 - 12:00am PST  

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how much do you have on you? >> i have nothing but my american express card. >> whatever you can do. just go to the website. whatever you can do. >> can you hang around and we will put online a little bit more? we have now officially run out of time. tony award-winning actor and activist alan cumming gets tonight's last wore. his new movie "any day" comes out this friday night in select cities. >> severely conservative. let's play "hardball." >> good evening, i'm chris matthews down in washington. did you get the impression during the presidential campaign that the press was trying too hard to be even handed? did you think the people
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delivering the news were pushing what we call balance at the expense of the obvious facts? the democrats in this election were like democrats going back to jack kennedy. but the republicans were far to the right as anything we've ever seen from that party, ever. self deportation, treat women like they belong in binders, ignore the rights of gay people, crack down on abortion rights, even in cases of rape. all the lingo in the gop platform approved in tampa, and not a ward. one of the country's two major parties. certainly not by his own admission, jeb bush. so, tonight, we're going to nail it. we go to the truth. and why it was the truth that dare fot be reported in the mainstream media. joining me now is joan walsh. what's wrong with the right? thank you both for joining us. here's a guy i really expect of aei, the american enterprise
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institute talking about the broadcast kneltworks. i can't recall a campaign where i've seen more lying going on. and it wasn't symmetric. but it seemed pretty clear to me that the republican campaign was far more from the top. if voters are going to be able to hold accountable political figures, they've got to know what's going on. and that the story that you're telling repeatedly would be all equally to blame then you're really doing a disservice to voters and that's not what journalists are supposed to co. do very much on to the general election, take a look at this look back. >> i didn't know there was a difference between joe stalin and barnie frank. >> now, todd aiken talking about legitimate rape and spouting some cave man theory that sex, which is forced, cannot result
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in pregnancy. finally, we meet the missing link that the party cannot get in bed with the most freakish element of the right, the person hood nuts and all of this rest of this ma naj ree and not become, itself, a freak show. >> it's abts the hard right running this campaign on. they cannot accept the policy. and last week's debate, romney showed his willingness to say whatever would get him through the night. he can etch-a-sketch in realtime now the deals he's made with the right positioning himself. have you seen a single case where romney's broken free from the mob that's brought him this far. a single soldier system if you will, no, this time you ask too much. no. >> i think we're pretty clean of the argument that we didn't tap into the craziness and actually dishonesty. here you have norm norstein
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coming out with this big book. they say, basically, i think you're talking about the broadcast nets here. it seems to be that the main thrust is the broadcast networks. they try to be balanced, that they missed the true asymmetry of parts. in terms of idealology and it spins for generations. never caught that in the main news stories. your thoughts about coverage. i hate to be a media critic, but we're into it right now. >> actually, i did read the whole piece. it's by dan fruki nrksz. it's a really interesting piece. they are talking at newspapers, they are talking abmagazines, they're talking about cable, which is not the broadcast network. it's a scholarly book. this is the amazing thing. you get the sense that these men are so wounded by now, they are being treated as pariahs.
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there was ones that had a quote against norm orenstein because he was the mainstream guy, he was the go-to guy. now, norm is like some radical. they both talk in the piece about how they cannot be on the show anymore unless they're balanced by republicans so they become, in a sense, they become the story themselves. it's tragic that this research book puts their reputation on the lienl. it puts them outside the pael and then they're radicals. it's really a fascinating process. this is an interesting story. did you hear from the other side? let me see, i don't see any sources here, high-level sources from the other side. that's all good journalism. but if you torque a piece to the
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idea that both parries are with their bin, you miss the story. you can't look at this past election as the normal american center left versus center right. if you do, you're not telling the big story. >> there are two stories here. one is the policy issue which you focused on. one issue that they're hammering, that dan frukin is hammering, that i've written a lot about before the election, too, is that there's an asymmetry in the amount of actual lying or the type of lying that was done. >> give me a couple of examples. >> i thought the romney campaign was much more foundational. >> obama appeases, not true. obama won on a policy term, not true. obama wants to cut $500 billion out of medicare.
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not true. a lot of his key arguments, and, of course, the jeep ad at the end. >> the one that offends me the most is the apology tour. it's foundational. he's putting that down in the ground. and i want to get joan in here. he puts that down and says sort of his takeoff platform. he's apologizing but i'll be a robust patriot. i'll defend america against anything foe or friend because i'm a real american. and this guy because he recognizes we live in a world of other countries that are decent countries. they're not all the enemy out there. this right wing attitude it's just us or just us and israel against all these evil third
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world people and they're just crazy about that. it's so dangerous. >> to finish this point for one second. the thing is -- and this is what ornstein was saying too. that his campaign was based on a lot of major big sweeping lies. now, you can look at obama and point out that he made a mistake, misrepresented obama's policy in this way and that way. but that the overall case was not based on a series of falsehoods against mitt romney. while that was true on the republican side. that's the asymmetry. they point out the media has a hard time saying that. it's easy to say everyone lies on both sides. but not all lies are created equal or have equal impact. >> yeah. there's this false equivalence we're trying to fight here. i think you do a good job of it. it's really engrained in the beltway culture. even in the debt ceiling debate or the fiscal cliff negotiations that neither side will give and they're both being unreasonable.
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and really not drilling down. the other thing they do is they really go back to newt gingrich and grover norquist. as you've talked about both these things, changing the culture of washington and making compromise impossible. >> here's something really naughty, i think in terms of policy. who can forget back in august not a million years ago when the romney pollster neil newhouse said the following. we're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers. think about that. fact checkers meaning facts. >> right. >> i was on the show with you the other night. we talked about the quotes of the year. 47%. >> that's a good one. >> i thought this should be the top two of three. that showed their view towards reality. it was an arrogance that we can say whatever we want to say. and i think in years past, this is what's changed. campaigns would not be so brazen. if caught in a lie they maybe feel some shame. here's neil newhouse telling reporters that we don't care what you say about our facts. we're going to use them anywhere. good example was what they said about barack obama changing welfare rules so people don't
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have to work. >> let's go back to that here. you've got people like michele bachmann who would say we should begin an investigation of members of congress for their attitudes. allen west saying there are 79 to 81 communists in this. so it was an escalation. that was the alley-oop play. he got the ball from michele. >> she thought there might be. he confirmed news. >> you would think the nightly news or any news organization whether "the new york times" and say wait a minute, this is so freaking far out. this kind of claim goes back to at least joan mccarthy. but at least the specificity of it. and that somehow -- some people believe there are 81 communists in the democratic party. some don't agree. let's hear for the pros and the cons here. >> one of my favorites was when rick santorum insisted that president kennedy's religious
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speech in houston put religion out of the public sphere and made him want to throw up. not one reporter who reported that remark went to google -- and i did -- looked at that speech and said as a matter of fact he talks about the role of religion. he talks about the priests in his life. so it's sort of like you're just -- i understand that on deadline it could be difficult, but you're just allowed to spew this stuff and people don't even sometimes use the basic tools of journalism to say really? is that what president kennedy said? >> the best line in that speech which may be kennedy's best speech was the interest here is not what church i go to, it's what america i believe in. the issue on the table here is not my beliefs or faith or lack thereof, it's about this country and what this country should say to people of faith or no faith. it should be how we treat as americans all the different belief systems. >> let me up the ante on what joan just said. that's right.
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people didn't check. and on deadline, there may be an excuse. to me what happened a lot during this campaign is even when politicians and i think romney did this more than obama, are called out on lies. say what they are. they still kept repeating them. the welfare lie i mentioned earlier, cutting medicare by $500 billion. again and again. it didn't matter -- >> i know. we have more freedom here on "hardball," i admit. i don't write the main bar of "the new york times." i couldn't say something like newt gingrich will never be the president of the united states. let's start that's the first lead sentence. rick santorum is never going to be nominated by today's party. but you can't do that. you have to assume there might be a chance this guy will win. who knows. i think i called newt. but i said in all fairness he can't be the devil because he looks like the devil. and we all know from grade school the devil looks like marilyn monroe.
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thank you joan walsh and david corn. newt always looks like newt. coming up, if you're pro labor, this isn't the image you want broadcast all around the country. >> get the [ mute ] out of my face! get the [ mute ] out of my face! i didn't hurt nobody! get out of my face! back the [ mute ] up! >> it gets worse. that's photo of a fox news contributor being harassed. will it have the same lasting impact as what happened right there. labor has plans to fight back. but first they've got to do explaining about that. you think? also mitch mcconnell seems to be doubling down on the fiscal cliff debate saying he's out to use the debt ceiling to blackmail the country of medicare and medicaid. would they kill the recovery of
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this country just to get their political gain? and meanwhile, when mitt romney said this is about president obama, listen. >> speaking about small business and businesses of all kinds he said this. if you've got a business, you didn't build that. somebody else made that happen. >> well, that was just one of the top ten finalists in politifact's top ten list. finally let me finish tonight. you'll love to hear this tonight. the ultimate victory of truth. this is "hardball" the place for politics. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan... ...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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who's the least popular u.s. senator in the united states? well, according to ppp's polling it's mitch mcconnell of kentucky. the republican leader isn't loved in his home state. 55% in kentucky disapprove. before president obama's inauguration mcconnell famously announced his top priority.
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make obama a one-term president. and democrats have a chance in 2014. we'll be right back. ♪
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secondhand smoke affects everyone's health. it's not just irritating. it can cause heart disease and even death. speak up about secondhand smoke. your health and the health of your family depend on it.
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welcome back to "hardball." things got ugly yesterday in michigan when they become the 24th right to work state in a huge blow to labor. about 10,000 protesters were outside the capitol and some brought down a tent housing those from the koch brothers' americans for prosperity. and steven crowder suffered a cracked tooth. here's a video he posted online. >> get the [ mute ] out of my face! get the [ mute ] out of my face! >> you hurt a lady in there. >> i didn't hurt nobody. get the [ mute ] out of my face! back the [ mute ] up! >> stop tearing down the tent.
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>> back the [ mute ] up! >> let's go to michigan where i'm joined by bill ballenger. and also doug geiss. he's a representative in the michigan state house. i hear you're a good reporter. what happened there yesterday? could you give us a good report on what we saw in words? >> not really. i think with 12,500 people milling around the capitol and inside the capitol, it's a miracle there wasn't more of this than there was. i think there were only three arrests, three pepper spray attacks by the police. i think you could have expected this, and i don't think we should be upset. >> well, let me ask you whether you're upset or not, i want to know what happened. so what happened?
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there you have a reporter from -- all right a conservative organization, fox. punched in the mouth by a union supporter. you don't think that's going to be used for months and years ahead? >> yeah. >> why would it be used? it's iconic and you say it shouldn't upset people. don't you think it will? >> i'm just saying violence in the capitol in general yesterday under those circumstances i think could have been expected and it could have been a lot worse. i agree with you. there will be things extracted from confrontations whether they were in the legislature, outside the legislature, between demonstrators and the press that can be used by one side or the other as political ammunition. and it probably will be. is it fair? no, it isn't. but this is american politics as you know. happens all the time. >> well, let me go to a politician. representative geiss. thank you for joining us. you had a statement out there. here you are on the floor of the
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michigan legislature. let's hear what you said. >> there will be blood. there will be repercussions. we know that we've got a hundred represented folks intended to walk in saying i'm not going to pay dues anymore. >> there will be blood. what are we to take from that? there will be blood. was that a premonition? were you suspecting it would get this violent? >> the full seven-minute video kind of leads up to this point to state that this is one of the most important and divisive issues that the michigan house of representatives could have taken up. i personally do not condone violence. i do not -- >> what did you mean by blood? i'm sorry. just tell me that word. what came to mind for you? >> what came to mind for me is if you don't learn from history, you're bound to repeat the mistakes of history. and in the speech that i gave, i
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talked about the battle of the overpass. we know when we have two sides ferociously battling on the right to work, the right to unionize, the polar of cysts on this issue, what are she possible outcomes. we have to look to history to understand what it took to get us to this point. and what i was trying to say to my colleagues was when we came in as freshman four years ago, we said that we would work together in a bipartisan manner. and i learned that lesson from tip o'neill. i boxed his belongings up and sent it off back in december of 1986. i always believed we should be able much like tip o'neill always said to leave the issues on the floor and be able to go and have a beer at 5:00. >> well, having a beer is a far cry from punching somebody in the face.
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>> i agree and i do not condone punching anybody in the face. i don't know what the equivalent issue would be on the far right. but on the left -- >> while i've got you, glad to have you on because you're in the middle of this. where is this going to end up? michigan was way ahead of everybody else in collective bargaining. one of the finest unions we've had in this country. clean as a whistle. the brothers were great men. is this going to be the face of a guy. we don't know where he's from. but what's going on in labor. is it this angry you're not going to have the finer labor movement we've had in the past where it looks like the people care about health care, looks like the people are caring about the whole economy not just their membership. can you get past the picture we're looking at? >> i don't think you ever take one or two or three people and try to paint everybody that's in that union with the same brush
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stroke. of course people will try to do it. but there are those hard working union members that will fight for what's right in a non-violent manner. and that's what i believe you will see as the continuing face. >> okay. i'm going to invite that guy who threw the punch to come on this show and tell us why he did it. if he singles himself out, he won't be the face. i think he should step forward and say if there's no charges made here, i'll tell you who i am. bill, just thoughts here. these industrial states which we root for. industrial unions that really build things. manufacturing states. is this a long trend line we're looking at or a cycle of right wing movement here? >> i'm afraid it's probably a long trend line. our percentage of union membership in the state is
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supposedly down to around 17%, if you can believe that. and michigan was considered the cradle of unionism. so, you know, unions are under assault. not just in the private sector, chris, but the public sector unions. remember, right to work yesterday has effected the entire public sector union movement. and that's where most of the membership and growth has been in the union movement in the last decade or two. >> okay. it's great having you on. bill, i hear you're a great reporter. and mr. geiss, good luck on your career. one of those on the far right richard mourdock is still pointing fingers after losing the senate race in indiana. sounds like sore loser. this is "hardball" the place for politics. [ man ] ring ring... progresso
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back to "hardball." and now to the sideshow. a merry cliffmas from stephen
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colbert. >> everywhere you go you could see the twinkle in children's eyes because in just a couple weeks the fiscal cliff is coming to town. merry cliffmas. if the parties here cannot agree to a budget deal by january 1st, automatic spending cuts will kick in and plunge america into a second recession. and things are not looking too good. >> democrats and republicans are blaming each other for the negotiations. >> who's going to blink first? >> who's going to blink first? >> the white house is daring republicans to blink. >> obama is daring republicans literally to blink. the joke's on him because i know some republicans who have had their eyelids surgically removed. also, what caused former indiana senate candidate richard mourdock at first the likely winner in that race to end up losing to joe donnelly? you might well point to this moment from a mourdock/donnelly debate.
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>> i struggled with it myself for a long time but realized life is a gift from god. even when life begins in the horrible situation of rape it is something god intended to happen. >> mourdock's popularity plummeted after that. now he's trying to pay down campaign debt. guess who's getting blamed for his election loss in the fund raising e-mail? quote, republicans all over the country were forced to accept defeat rather than celebrate victory. in our case we found ourselves caught in the liberal media cross hairs. never has indiana seen a more obvious example of media bias by reporters more interested in defeating conservatives than reporter the news. rnc chair reince priebus had him in mind when he said this reflecting on some of the 2012 candidates.
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>> i think we were pretty clear on some of the dumb things that were said over the last cycle. >> not a good sign when a look back at your parties' candidates includes the word dumb. next. what happens when romney's glen hubbard fell victim to an unexpected interruption. >> they either have to raise taxes or cut spending. that forces the congress to think about the mix between taxes and spending outside of the entitlements and spending on the entitlements. that's just not something our framers thought about, because we -- we didn't have a welfare state in those days. >> glen, are you all right? >> i'm fine. that's what happens when you criticize the welfare state. >> wow. somehow he's unfazed there. and that video went viral instantly. finally a ppp poll last week show 28% of republicans want their state to secede from the union. a quick status update from david
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letterman's late show. >> secession update. still holding steady at 50 states. >> that was close. >> still in the clear, i guess. up next, are the republicans planning on using the debt ceiling deadline to blackmail the country into cutting social security and medicare and medicaid? that's ahead. you're watching "hardball" the place for politics.
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welcome back to "hardball." there was a hint of movement on the fiscal cliff deal between president obama and speaker boehner yesterday. here's where things stand for now. the white house sent over a proposal that lowered the revenue target for the president obama from $1.6 trillion to $1.6 trillion. he also increased spending cuts to $600 billion. so you have three things he's moving on there. speaker boehner was not impressed sending over his original offer of $800 billion in revenue. by the way that was the number last summer, summer of '11. acknowledged there's a long way to go. let's listen to him. >> i remain the most optimistic person in this town, but we've
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got some serious differences. the president and i had a pretty frank conversation about just how far apart we are. >> and in an interview with barbara walters, the president held firm and said time is running out. >> taxes are going to go up one way or the other. and i think the key is to make sure that taxes go up on the high end individuals like you and me, barbara. we can afford it. it is entirely possible for us to come up with a deal, but time is running short. >> joining me right now is washington post columnist and msnbc political analyst eugene robinson. also strategist and former mike huckabee campaign manager chip saltsman. i've always been impressed by people who have been campaign managers. not those who drove a car for somebody once. let me get you to because you're a republican. i think -- look. i think the president's trying here, but i can't tell what's going on. he's lowered his revenue demand
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to 1.4, it's working down to where i think it'll be 1.2. also cutting spending from where he was last year at 350 up to 800. i'm sorry he's up to about 600. so he's moving. i didn't think you'd get him past 400 in terms of spending cuts. what's the republican position as you read it right now? >> well, i think the good news is that they're actually talking. i always jokingly say the more staff you see in the room, the less likely there's going to be a deal. at the end of the day these are the folks to have to make the deal. i can tell you the appetite for tax increases of any sort aren't really high. i think you've seen some senators cross the line saying let's talk about that. let's talk about the top 2%. slowly some of them are going that way. but the bulk of the conference is not there. but really they need -- my guess is probably 40 or 50 house
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republicans to get some kind of deal done of which they've got maybe 20 lame ducks. >> so they're going to corral 30 or 40 to add to the lame ducks. you read it's going to be a horse and rabbit stew. it's going to be more democrats? >> absolutely. i think it passes with democrats and some republicans. it's the only way. >> easier for a democrat to buy into something. raising taxes on the rich is what they campaigned on at the cuts of entitlement programs. >> or if they get more definite. i think you could get democrats to buy into some cuts that technically don't touch the sacred cows or don't touch them in the wrong place. >> touch beneficiaries. in today's memo headline mcconnell-obama. obama wins the tax fight now on to the debt limit. indicates mcconnell is now averse to using the debt limit as a negotiating tool right now. he says we're going to insist
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that we have another discussion about the future of our country in connection with the question of u.s. to raise the debt ceiling. this was of what he said last week on the senate floor. let's see what he said on tape. >> for months the president's been saying all he wants is to raise taxes on the top 2% so he can tackle the debt. and the deficit. however, yesterday he finally revealed that's not really his true intent. by demanding the power to raise the debt limit whenever he wants by as much as he wants, he showed what he's really after is assumed unprecedented power to spend taxpayer dollars without any limit at all. >> chip, is that accurate what he just said that? i think the president means how about a ceasefire the next time this comes around in two months. he's not going to get a law to get rid of the requirement. it's a law that congress passed that they have to raise it every time them to borrow more money. he's simply saying let's not have another stop the government game, another hostage situation.
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how do you read what mcconnell said there? i think he misrepresented the president. >> i think there's a little bit of both on this. he sees an opportunity of making political hay. and i think the president says let's not have this fight anymore. we know how great they are at solving when there's no pressure solutions. they talk and talk. they say obviously the end of the year there's a pressure point with the fiscal cliff. they see the next pressure point being february with the debt limit to try to get some serious spending cuts and go after the big three entitlements to get what they want which is to lower deficit through spending cuts. >> let's go to mcconnell. he's not a popular guy anywhere. least of all right here. but let me ask you this. is he stupid? he's not a stupid man. why would he say he would stop the government, have us risk another lowered credit rating in
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order to cut programs which are essential to so many people like social security and medicare? >> to throw the debt ceiling thing out there might be popular among some republican office holders in the city. i don't think it's really popular beyond that. what he said is a complete misrepresentation because after all raising the debt ceiling is to pay for what congress has already authorized. pay the bills that congress has already incurred. i don't think this is a fight you really want to have with president obama. he -- as a point of principle, he really does believe -- >> bring on a second recession. screw up the economy so bad that obama's record in history doesn't make sense. he is a real bad guy lately. i think mcconnell has stopped being a real conservative and is being a guy that wants to bring down obama. anyway, the new nbc poll shows democratic party approval higher than republican. approval of the democrats 44%. of republicans 30%. it shows that 59% that president
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obama has a mandate to eliminate tax cuts for the rich. how do you look at that, chip? that's solid that 59%. how can the republicans on the hill deny it? >> well, we lost a major -- we lost a national election, obviously. we didn't gain control of the senate. we did get control of the house. president obama is the guy that beat us. and so they're riding high right now. and they have framed this issue about tax increases on the rich. and as i jokingly say when you polled 98% of the people they always agree tax the other guys. and when we -- >> i know. don't tax me. tax the guy behind the tree. let me ask you a question. you're a great guest. would mike huckabee had won this general election if he was the nominee? >> i'm biased, but i think he would have had an opportunity to win and beat obama for one simple reason. he's a conservative but he's not angry about it. and he's able to discuss what he
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believes in a way that doesn't make people mad and really opens him up to a conservative way of thinking. >> yes or no would he have won? would he have won? yes or no? >> i think yes. >> i want to make news around here. we want you on more often. thank you chip saltsman who ran the almost happened mike huckabee campaign. and robinson, thank you. up next, this will perk you up. it's positive. in distortion of dishonesty. this is "hardball" the place for politics. [ male announcer ] when ziggy the cat appeared at their door, he opened up jake's very private world. at first, jake's family thought they saved ziggy, but his connection with jake has been a lifesaver. for a love this strong, his family only feeds him iams. compared to other leading brands, it has 50% more animal protein... ...to help keep ziggy's body as strong as a love that reaches further than anyone's words.
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iams. keep love strong.
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coming up, the biggest lies of this election year. politifact's got the list and it's coming up next. you're watching "hardball."
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purk welcome back to "hardball." each year the editors and reporters at politifact, the fact checking website run by the tampa bay times, shows their lie of the year. and there was plenty of competition this year, of course. we're going to count down to the winner tonight. we selected a few nominees that
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got a lot of coverage here on "hardball." the first is that under -- actually that under president obama welfare recipients would get welfare checks without doing anything. the romney campaign turned it into an ad. here's part of it. >> under obama's plan you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. they just send you your welfare check. and welfare to work goes back to being welfare. >> to discuss the winner of politifact's lie of the year is michael crowley jonathan allen. michael, what do you think of that one? that was welfare you get the check out the work. turns out several republican governors had said we want to change the rules so we get more education to work permanently and it'll be more effective. nothing about welfare without work requirement. >> yeah. i think it was a couple republican governors. this was a minor thing they wanted waivers from the administration. the administration said they might be willing to give them if they came up with good plans. and the ad -- what was so misleading about the ad was the implication that obama had this plan. the implication was obama had
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this plan that would undo the welfare from the '90s. they might give waivers to a good plan in the states presented. but there was no sweeping plan. so there was a grain of truth to it but the basic overall message was wildly misleading. >> let's face it, made the president look like he was in favor of the people who are welfare cheats basically. i want to give them something free, right? >> of course that would be a great position for him to have in an election year. >> also separated him from clinton which was smart, i guess. the other entry that got to me and got a lot of mileage was mitt romney's assertion that president obama had gone on an apology tour overseas. romney even included it in his acceptance speech at the republican national convention. let's listen to this one. >> i will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. president obama began his presidency with an apology tour. america, he said had dictated to other nations. no, mr. president, america has freed other nations from dictators.
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>> do you like the way he gets a little teary-eyed, a little mucous there. he is apologizing. a lie. >> no apology, no tour. the only thing that the democrats were saying when they came in, what obama was saying when he came in was look, george bush alienated a lot over our friends, and certainly further alienated some of our enemies. we've got to get back on a path where the united states is in a better place vis-a-vis the rest of the world you. did see some of that. nothing like an apology tour. and by the way, president obama did in fact take out some dictators himself. moammar gadhafi. >> that's the one that disturbs me, mike, because i think he was setting that up for a predicate. he was going to be one of these american exceptionalists we're always right, you're always wrong. get out of the way. i thought it was war talk. your thoughts? >> mitt romney's foreign policy never made a lot of sense. on the specifics there was not a lot of difference with obama. his message seemed to be i'm going to talk tougher. i'm going to twist putin's arm a little harder.
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it was tonal, very much this machismo, i'll never apologize, i'll be stronger. but there was nothing really to it. that was a good example kind of having to cook up this idea that obama, you know, was an apologist in accepting american decline. it wasn't really true. that's why he was so obsessed with benghazi, because he had nothing else. and even benghazi, of course, was overblown. >> let's take a look at this. this is an ad by the superpac supporting president obama. it was singled out by politifact for being false. it was a devastating but powerful ad that left the impression that mitt romney and bain capital had responsibility for a woman's death. let's listen. >> when mitt romney and bain closed the plant, i lost my health care, and my family lost their health care. and a short time after that, my wife became ill. i don't know how long she was sick. and i think maybe she didn't say anything because she knew that we couldn't afford the
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insurance. and then one day she became ill, and i took her up to the jackson county hospital, and admitted her for pneumonia, and that's when they found the cancer. and by then it was stage 4. there was nothing they could do for her. and she passed away in 22 days. i do not think that mitt romney realizes what he has done to anyone. and i hurt more, i do not think that mitt romney is concerned. >> over the top? john? >> i mean, it's a very tragic story. it's easy to feel for this guy. but mitt romney had nothing to do with -- certainly didn't have anything to do with his wife getting cancer. certainly didn't have anything to do with her dying. you know, this is one of those superpacs, democrats were so angry about new money coming in, these superpacs. then they go ahead and raise money for these guys at priorities usa and they come out with an ad like this. i think if it had been run on the other side saying obama had killed people with his health care plan, you would hear the hue and cry about death panels and helicopter squads. >> he didn't even look at it.
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and the winner of politifact's lie of the year comes from a romney campaign in a tv ad that basically said president obama was responsible for jeep jobs being sent over to china, something that never happened. here is part of it. let's listen. >> obama took gm and chrysler into bankruptcy and sold chrysler to italians who are going to build jeeps in china. mitt romney will fight for everyone american job. >> i'm mitt romney and i approved this message. >> of course, that's the jeep ad, michael crowley. sometimes these guys get caught in realtime, because the governor of this state and everybody said it didn't happen. >> right. well, chris, this is one of those wonderful examples where something can be factually accurate and still a complete lie. in other words, the language in that ad i believe stands up. that chrysler was going to begin, again, making jeeps in china, for chinese? >> right, right. it made perfect sense. a lot of auto companies do this. they weren't going to be moving
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jobs from the u.s. to china. but obviously that's the clear implication of the ad. so the fundamental message is a lie. they just covered themselves enough with the language. maybe they thought they wouldn't get called out on it. i think this ended up backfiring on them. they were desperate at that point. they were desperate to win ohio. i think it was net loss. they got killed, as you say, and it back fired. >> i think it's one of the things that worked the other way. whiplash against it. thank you, great reporting. when we return, let me finish with the ultimate triumph this year. believe it or not, of truth. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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let me finish tonight with this. memory is a fascinating thing. what we choose to hang on to, what hangs on in our mind, no matter what we choose. if you're like me, you remember the big ones. you remember the president's bad night in that first debate. actually, that's one i tried hard to get out of my mind. it's punishing just to think about. you remember the oddness of watching mitt romney stand in front of those rich people in florida talking trash about the folks who can't afford to pay $10,000 to sit all dressed up listening to this stuff, and feeling so, so successful in life. you remember the times that one side or the other said something in a tv ad you knew was wrong and it bothered you. if you're like me, you remember that occasion when the side you often agree with said something that just isn't fair. so it's a real battle of impressions and which of them get to stay in your head. i think the good news for the